Video surveys: How to get deeper customer insights using video feedback

30 November 2022 | 5 min read | Written by Kelvin Claveria

If a picture says a thousand words, then a video says a million. And that’s exactly why researchers in droves are now choosing to include video surveys as a key part of their insight-gathering strategy. 

Video is not just another market research trend—in today’s mobile-first world, it’s poised to become one of the most valuable tools in capturing the voice of the customer. Here’s everything you need to know about using video surveys to get customer feedback. 

What is a video survey?

A video survey is a market research tool that lets you collect qualitative feedback. It's a question type where participants are asked to upload or share a video in response to a question instead of typing a response. 

Videos are powerful because they show people’s facial expressions and reveal their tone, adding richer context that’s impossible to get via text alone. 

Video feedback can also be a more cost-effective and scalable way of getting an unfiltered peek into your customers’ lives. Instead of doing an in-person focus group or visiting customers at their home, you can incorporate video surveys in many of your research studies.

Now with nearly 80% of the world carrying around their own personal recording device in their back pocket, getting video has never been easier. On top of that, video has become a very normal part of our lives. 

The pandemic made things like Zoom calls, Facetime, and video messages a standard part of our days. Video is not just a Gen Z thing—people of all ages are familiar and comfortable communicating this way today. 

What are the use cases for video surveys in market research?

Video surveys, especially when they are done via mobile research, uncover many use cases and new methodologies. Here are a few ways Rival customers are using videos: 

  • Product unboxing  – Have customers show and narrate their experience and impressions as they open, assemble, or try on your product. 
  • Taste testing – Ask customers to share their thoughts as they taste the product for the first time.
  • Missions - Get people to share a video as they visit your store or find your products at a retail partner. 
  • In the moment watch-alongs – Invite viewers to record and share their commentary on a show while watching it.
  • Space tours – Have members give a tour of their space, whether it’s a home office, gaming setup, or kitchen.

In this video survey example, research participants from a COVID-themed insight community give a tour of their pantry in the early days of the pandemic. 


How do I analyze insights from video surveys?

The best market research platforms today continue to develop their capabilities to make it easier to analyze and use video feedback.

Video sentiment analysis - Topline on the Rival platform (laptop)

These features include:

  • Real-time video transcription that lets you read what people say for easier analysis
  • Sentiment analysis that uses AI and machine learning to tell you if a video response has a positive, negative, neutral or mixed sentiment 
  • Mobile toplines where you can see new video responses as they come in
  • Sizzle reels that let you pick and curate clips to share with your stakeholders 

Best practices when using video surveys for market research

Getting quality videos from participants requires having the right tech and approach. I recently invited Brett Henderson, Director of Customer Success at Rival Technologies, to share his tips with us in a recent episode of Outliers

Brett’s point of view is valuable because of his 20+ years of experience in insights, including a stint at the video feedback company LivingLens (acquired by Medallia). 

Check out the recording below or keep scrolling for some key takeaways.

1. Create your video strategy around mobile

Mobile is the best way to get video. It’s how people watch and share videos in their day-to-day lives, whether they’re checking out TikTok or Facetiming with friends. 

Unfortunately, many video feedback platforms rely heavily on participants logging on to desktop to submit videos. That’s a huge miss because mobile is easier to use and a lot more portable than desktop. 

That’s why adopting a mobile-first approach is critical. Everything about your video survey—from the way you author your questions to the way you send your invitations through SMS—should be optimized for mobile. 

2. Use video to get video

We need to practice what we preach, and if we want useful video feedback (which we do!), we should lead by example.

Add video to your surveys to show respondents how easy it is to do. This technique works particularly well for Rival customers who have an insight community. They take a quick selfie video (often using their phones) to share some background about the study, thank people for their responses, or provide some quick tips about submitting videos.

A low-production, candid selfie video lets members know you aren’t looking for anything fancy.

This technique accomplishes two things: First, it builds trust, showing that there are actual people behind the survey. Second, it demonstrates to community members how simple it is to share video feedback: a low-production, candid selfie video lets members know you aren’t looking for anything fancy.

3. Make it easy

Make sure providing video feedback is a low lift for your members, and that means not having video submissions be a separate part of the research study. Use a market research platform that lets you incorporate video survey questions seamlessly with your quant questions.

Try to remove any additional barriers that might get in the way of your customers sharing their thoughts through video. For example, if you’re thinking of using video responses to create a sizzle reel to share internally with stakeholders but need consent, consider waiting until responses are submitted, select the ones that help best tell the story, and then circleback with only those members to get permission. It’s a small difference, but having this question as a follow up, opposed to leading with it will help remove any hesitation members might have around sharing video feedback.  

4. Give people the option 

Sure, it would be nice to have video feedback as a required part of the survey, but this is not always realistic. Some people simply prefer to share their feedback some other way. Encourage video, but make it optional. 

In a typical study, Rival customers see that up to 25% of participants will complete the question with a video response. This depends on several factors, of course, including the incentive, the research topic, and your participants. If you have an established insight community, you may also see a much higher percentage because you’ve already established trust.

Up to 25% of research participants will answer your survey question with a video response.

A one-size-fits all approach doesn’t work—that’s why our customer success team works closely with our customers to optimize their strategy for video and other aspects of their insight community. 

Get deeper insights with video surveys

Video feedback is helping today’s insights professionals collect rich feedback, tell impactful stories to their stakeholders, and get to know their customers on a deeper level.

To learn more about how we incorporate video into our insight community platform, visit our Platform page or watch our video that reviews key concepts we covered in this post “Harnessing the Power of Video Feedback to Capture Deeper Customer Insights.”

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Written by Kelvin Claveria

Kelvin Claveria (@kcclaveria) is Director of Demand Generation at Rival Technologies.

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